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"Carry over"

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I would like to participate in some capacity.can you please list what vacancies Will be available on the beta team.

I'm purely looking for people with some experience in mission design. The mission designers will test their scenarios themselves (that is, author A tests mission B, author B tests mission C, author C tests A's mission etc.). They must be willing to work under guidance, and the purpose of the whole thing is two-fold

1) to develop some sort of a single player campaign

2) to develop the tools (in close cooperation with the programmers) that are necessary to accomplish goal 1.

So, first it'll be more of conceptual work - defining what type of operation it's supposed to be in the end, defining obvious development goals for "campaign design tools", then creating skeletons of the missions for a linear campaign first (the skeleton of the skeleton), then either fleshing out the missions, or, depending how quickly we make progress with the campaign tools, first creating skeletons of branching (alternative) paths of the operation. Most likely, it'll be a chaotic mix of the two.

I can't rule out that we'll discover that some things won't work, and that we may have to "throw away" some work (that is, to release such scenarios without the context of the operational background for which it was intended).

Not everybody must be an expert in military doctrine, but at least some people need to (with Mark on board, I am not afraid). Everybody be prepared to make at least two or three scenarios, potentially four or five, depending on how well we're making progress. Scenarios will probably be at company team level. You should have made two or three of such scenarios before in your life, and they shouldn't be primitive lemming rush type of shoot 'em ups (nothing wrong with that kind of a mission per se, but I'm looking for more sophistication - events with radio messages that tell a story, alternate battle plans for the enemy, and a fair bit of randomness designed into each scenario).

The reward?

There will be short-lived fame and vanity in the SB community. There will be some financial compensation (to be negotiated), but probably way below minimum wage if you'll count the hours (and everybody who fits the qualifications described above undoubtedly knows this already). You may get exposed to untested new features that, most likely, will not work as they should.

You need not expect blood spill, but sweat and tears? Definitely.

But if this all works out, it'll be awesome, and you'll have been a part of it.

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I'm purely looking for people with some experience in mission design. The mission designers will test their scenarios themselves (that is, author A tests mission B, author B tests mission C, author C tests A's mission etc.). They must be willing to work under guidance, and the purpose of the whole thing is two-fold

1) to develop some sort of a single player campaign

2) to develop the tools (in close cooperation with the programmers) that are necessary to accomplish goal 1.

But if this all works out, it'll be awesome, and you'll have been a part of it.

I could make the coffee.LoL

All joking aside.i am not experienced enough as a mission designer To take part in this project.

But i am available for other less technical roles if they are required.

At some point in the campaigns development.

Best of luck to all who take part.It sounds like a very exciting venture.

Edited by Marko

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Well presumably we need someone to test drive the finished product from start to finish (oh and make coffee :))?

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I'm available for technical details. I don't have a good imagination for the actual mission design but I know the scoring and logic inside and out.

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All joking aside.i am not experienced enough as a mission designer To take part in this project.

You can still work on your experience by starting to make a few scenarios of your own until then. :)

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I'm purely looking for people with some experience in mission design.

(...)

But if this all works out, it'll be awesome, and you'll have been a part of it.

Very much interested - 't would be a dream come true - so pls do count me.

But "two half days per week": that might not be realistic for me;

let's talk when the time is there about what is feasible.

Rgds, K

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Sure... But remember how it went last time, and you know perfectly well how much work is involved.

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For this to-be-campaign it could be an idea to include 2 or 3 .pln-files for the Blue player:

different tactical solutions for each scenario.

(OK, probably overambitious workload-wise ... )

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Somewhat simplistic, but dynamic and procedurally generated. M1TP2 was even better since it got doctrinal force compositions right and also allowed for tactical surprises in the operational context (e.g. if you managed to move your main body undetected into an unexpected position, you enjoyed minutes of happy turkey shooting before what was left (if any) got themselves organized.

We should define our terms- dynamic meaning fluid- certainly it was not. From the player's perspective, it was a platoon level simulation compartmentalized and sealed off in its own universe unto itself- no other friendly units outside of the current mission or even in the scope of the campaign had any interaction or any effect- the player alone wins or loses the individual mission, and eventually the campaign. If you lost a mission, you were simply given another platoon- wherever that came from- it just moved into place up at the front magically without any explanation how it got there, or, on the other hand, there are no supply trains keeping you going as you supposedly advance deeper into enemy territory. You don't so much deplete your supply of M1 tanks or your fuel and ammunition so much as the game arbitrarily decides you are losing the war when you lose enough missions. This 'campaign' was a facade only- it's a campaign because it shows unit symbols on the map making progress with a final victory cutscene, but there really was no 'war' going on apart from that.

I think the way people refer to as a dynamic campaign probably compares to the Falcon 3.0 benchmark- the entire war is going on, you could lose aircraft, expend supplies, you get still get assigned missions, but you had nothing available to assign to the mission if you didn't have enough aircraft because of losses or fuel and ammunition shortages, so your squadron could be grounded and sit out the fighting while the enemy keeps moving. In other words, the dynamic campaign implies a larger scope than the M1P2 missions constituting the campaigns. An interesting consequence of that is that the computer might assign 'stupid' or useless missions, but the player can decide to leave mission boundaries and actually think about and plan for the future by instead attacking other objectives having more effect on the campaign (such as ignoring a patrol mission and attacking a SAM site shooting down friendly aircraft, or attacking an enemy airfield still capable of launching aircraft). M1TP2's campaign simply did not permit players to leave the artificial boundaries of the current map- you couldn't continue to attack, sensing the enemy front was collapsing, or flank its main resistance or anything like that, the campaign missions were simply a string of comparmentalized individual missions with no effect on the other, except for the compuater rationalizing you either are attacking forward or defending in place in each mission.

In sum, a 'dynamic campaign' as players usually seem to wistfully pine for probably implies at least operational level scope as they have seen it in flight sims- supplies can expended, they can 'disobey' orders or mission goals and go off on their own, attack across a broader theatre instead of being confined to a few kilometers strung together by individual missions which end because the computer decides that the objective has been reached or lost. You could argue that this would never happen in real life because it is against procedure in a practical military situation (however that doesn't mean that is conceptually impossible, just that militaries don't behave that way), still, the point is that the campaign happens closer to real time with more of an entire war going on around you. I'm not sure that carries over into a land sim however, to my knowledge I can't think of a single land combat sim that has ever done that. Seems to be very ambitious.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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To add my previous post, I think a truly dynamic campaign wouldn't just be a 'carry-over'- that still implies somehwat compartmentalized but somewhat connected missions- that's still more than what M1TP2 did, because logistic and supply states can port over from a previous mission, whereas those things did not go beyond the scope of the individual M1TP2 misison, but it's not really dynamic, either. A logical consequence of a dynamic campaign, which probably doesn't necessarily make for a fun mission insofar as trigger pulling is concerned, is that you could theoretically have a mission that has no enemy to face at all- so you sit there and wait for an attack which never comes, or you attack where the enemy had long retreated from- that would be a dynamic situation. Contrary to that is the way combat simulations actually are played- you always know as soon as you click 'start' going in to any mission that there will be combat. The point of the scenario is always combat. Aoviding combat or trying to maneuver to put off combat to a more desireable time in the future seems to be beyond the scope of land combat simulations from an entertainment perspective. You could do this however with a branching style campaign- your goal is to maneuver and avoid combat. It might have its own pucker factor on its own with a cleverly designed mission which has certain tadeoffs the player must confront where neither decision is altogether ideal, and so on.

That's what makes M1TP2 feel so generic- why do missions get tougher even though you're supposedly winning the campaign (at least according to the advances on the campaign map screen)? Is it because the enemy is sensing its desperate position and putting up stiffer resistance? Well, no, from a gameplay perspective, it's counterintuitive to make the campaign get easier as you're winning, it makes the goal of winning less satisfying, the challenge doesn't level up. This is the conundrum of RPG games- as your character levels up to godlike power, the enemy the character encounters in farther lands and deeper dungeouns is also leveling up to keep the play balance intact- so really, it still feels sort of the same in the very beginning of the campaign when the player and the enemy monsters are relatively weak as later on when they are extremely strong- it's a bit of a gameplay conceit, granted, to keep the player interested and goals challenging.

So, similarly, what M1TP2 would do is send the tank platoon straight into tougher defenses in subsequent missions; there's little sense that the enemy is collapsing or is depleted, you can't really search for a corridor to bypass the trouble spots, the best you can do is skirt the edges of the map screen during the mission so that you're not surrounded all the time- but there's no higher level maneuvers taking place, no one comes in to help you, there's no sense of supply lines getting longer or shorter, no sense of getting behind the enemy or anything like that.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Nice posts, Captain.

Realising such dynamic campaign à la Falcon 3.0 would be truly splendid.

Also, it might not be impossible to do this in SB right now (maybe in a more clumsy way).

But, as you mentioned: ambitious ...

Also, maybe above the scope of a single player company-level mission ?

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I have no idea- I'm not a visionary, I'm not a mind at all, I just make logical comparisons. I think what is being proposed here is not a dynamic campaign but a branching campaign- missions 'carry over' but events are not happening in real time, and they fairly constrained to the extent to need a story in between missions to explain why you're doing what you're doing. Again, M1TP2 made little sense here- why would another tank platoon magically be in the right place to block the advance if the previous one were destroyed? There's no conceit explained, even- it just happens, a fully loaded, fueled and equipped platoon is ready for action in the right place and time, fortunately. That means there's no real momentum 'carrying over,' either, no collapse of the front or sense of unstoppable tide- there's always another force magically placed to deal with the situation, no higher echelon maneuvers to relocate units from one troubled spot to another, no retreats, and that sort of thing. In M1TP2, it is theoretically possible to lose a campaign even if you never lost a single tank- well, real wars don't necessarily work like that. I might have hundreds of tanks left still ready to fight, so why have I lost? Wars can often be more than the sum of their missions, look at many of them to see a side win a war even though it technically lost most of the battles, or sustained more casulaties.

Even Falcon 3 had pauses and breaks in the real time action, but it does have a larger campaign going on around you once you're ready to take off happening in near real time. The only other game that I think really did this was the Enemy Engaged campaigns, which were continuously ongoing even while you were reading briefings and equipping your squadrons, you jump around from aircraft to aircraft and take control at any time. It had its own draw backs, though- attrition style warfare, illogical mission goals, the fact that it was dynamic meant there was little actual military organization or identifiable tactics, everything was just thown up in the air and sent off on errands.

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given the preview of fabulous new stuff @ ITEC 2012,

wouldn't it be better to wait with building this campaign,

but give scenarists later in the year access to a Beta-version with some of the new toys ?

(and publish campaign with update in next spring)

advantages:

* campaign will contain new exiting stuff

* more time to build a good campaign

disadvantages:

* ?

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Well, if a reader here like TacBat is seriously interested, capable and willing to devote a significant amount of time (like two hours every other day, or two half days per week), please contact me in mid June. We may then create a mini beta test group that would allow us to start working on some sort of a small operation. Let's see how far we can come. :)

I gave it an extra week.

Should I email too?

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The thing is still on, but got delayed until the end of the second week of July. IOW, all volunteers please contact me ca. Wednesday, July 11th.

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Ssnake, I would be away on a bussines trip until the 15th July.

You can surely count with me from that date on.

I love making scenarios so I will participate with pleasure.

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